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Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is he will list (a) the standard fees and (b) the discretionary fees charged for services provided by the public record office (i) to commercial genealogists and (ii) where YTP or ACE workers are working on behalf of commercial genealogists.
Dr. Mawhinney : Fees charged for services provided by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland are set out in a schedule to the Public Record of the (Public Use Of The Records) Rules (Northern Ireland) 1953. The current schedule of fees is contained in a statutory rule, No. 180 of 1988 a copy of which is available in the Library.
The deputy keeper of the records has discretion to waive such fees if the records are being inspected for the purposes of private, non-profit-making research. The rules are interpreted in the same way in respect of services provided for ACE and YTP workers as for other members of the public.
Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the total of grants in aid paid to the tobacco industry in Northern Ireland since 1979 ; if he will list these ; what other financial assistance has been made to tobacco companies by the Government in the same period ; if he will list these ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Viggers : There have been no grants in aid paid to the tobacco industry in Northern Ireland since 1979. In terms of financial assistance, the Department of Economic Development (including the Industrial Development Board) has paid a total of £33,909,246 to tobacco companies in Northern Ireland since 1979.
(2) what plans there are to minimise the risk of leaks of chlorofluorocarbons from refrigeration and air conditioning systems under his Department's control.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 6 March 1989] : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Merionnydd Nant Conwy (Dr. Thomas) on Monday 6 March.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 8 March 1989] : The interview schedule contained questions about respondents' experience of a number of crimes, including car theft, bicycle theft, theft from vehicles, vandalism to vehicles, housebreaking, robbery, sexual offences and assault. Questions were also asked about fear of crime and household security.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 8 March 1989] : The survey in Scotland was part of an international exercise involving 15 countries mainly from the European Community but also including the United States of America, Canada and Australia. The survey used tightly standardised methods in order to obtain comparative information on the nature and scale of victimisation and other criminal justice information across the various participating countries.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 8 March 1989] : My Department's central research unit, which acted as co-ordinator for the survey in Scotland, received about 30 telephone calls and one letter from the public. For the most part the callers sought only to confirm the bona fide nature of the survey though a number voiced specific concerns and complaints mainly related to the household security questions. Two of the calls related to the question about sexual assault.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) whether the people who carried out the recent Scottish Office telephone survey had received any formal training in counselling techniques ;
(2) what qualifications the people who carried out the recent Scottish Office telephone survey had.
Column 141for research purposes. The interviewers were given introductory training for the special needs of this survey which paid particular attention to the sensitive nature of many of the topics included in the questionnaire.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps were taken to ensure that respondents to the recent Scottish Office telephone survey were made aware of the voluntary nature of the survey.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 9 March 1989] : The introduction to the questionnaire used by all survey interviewers offered the respondent a number of opportunities to decline to participate before commencing the interview. At this stage, also, respondents were given the opportunity to verify the authenticity of the survey. This could be done by telephoning the liaison contact in the Scottish Office or the free telephone number of the Market Survey Society. That this was effective was demonstrated by the fact that, to achieve a sample of 2,000, approximately 4,000 calls had to be made. One person in two approached declined to participate. Those who participated were, of course, free to put down the telephone at any point.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 9 March 1989] : Confidentiality was a principal factor in the decision to use computer- generated telephone interviewing. This technique offers greater confidentiality than the more usual doorstep interviews since neither the name nor address of the respondent is known to the interviewer. This was explained by the interviewers to potential respondents before seeking their agreement to participate.
Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will give for each hospital over 250 beds (a) the land and building capital evaluation and (b) equipment capital evaluation ; (2) on what date he proposes that hospitals will start paying capital interest charges ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : I have asked each health board to compile a register of all capital assets held, their location and their value, but this information is not yet available. A Scottish working paper on capital charging, including a proposed timetable, will be published shortly.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the proportion of Forestry Commission sales since the introduction of the rationalisation plans sold (a) back to the previous owners, (b) privately and (c) by public sale.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has now received a copy of the written decision of Lord Weir, in the Court of Session, concerning the dismissal of Mr. Manouchehn Tehrani, consultant surgeon, from his employment at the Inverclyde royal hospital ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many inspections of marine fish farms have been made in each of the last five years by (a) the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland, (b) the river purification boards and (c) the Health and Safety Executive.
|Numbers ------------------------ 1984 |68 1985 |101 1986 |110 1987 |133 1988 |176
Information is not held centrally on the number of inspections of marine fish farms by river purification authorities.
Information as to inspections carried out by the Health and Safety Executive is a matter for my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Employment.
Column 143report, "The Transport of Plutonium by Air and Sea", written by Jonathan Spink and Paul Helliwell for the European Proliferation Information Centre on behalf of the national steering committee of the nuclear free zone authorities ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : The honorary secretary of the nuclear free zone national steering committee wrote to the permanent under-secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 16 January enclosing a copy of the report. A reply to the honorary secretary's letter issued on 9 February. A copy of the reply is being placed in the Library of the House.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek a meeting with his counterpart on the Federal Republic of Germany to discuss the assistance given by Federal Germany aerospace companies to Argentina for the production of the Condor 2 ballistic missile system.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has made any recent representations to the Brazilian ambassador over the chopping down of the Amazonian rain forest and its consequent implications for the depletion of the ozone layer.
Mr. Eggar : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State and I both drew to the attention of the visiting Secretary-General of the Brazilian Ministry for Foreign Affairs last week the strong concern felt in this country on environmental issues, notably the future of the Amazon rain forests. We stressed that our overall approach was to work with the Brazilian Government on these matters.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, at his recent meeting with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, he raised the question of compensation for victims of past Palestine Liberation Organisation bombings.
Mr. Waldegrave : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State has not met PLO representatives. We have not discussed with the PLO possible compensation for victims of acts of violence. We oppose such acts from whatever quarter.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, during his recent meeting with Israeli Government officials in Israel, the right hon. Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Waldegrave) raised the issue of Israeli possession of nuclear weapons and the prospects of Israel signing the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Mr. Waldegrave : No. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State raised the question of Israeli accession to the non-proliferation treaty during his talks with Professor Arens on 15 February.
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make inquiries of the Government of Cameroon about the reasons for the trial of Albert Mukong, a civilian, by a military court.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what treaty obligations and resources are available for oil spill control in the Antarctic ; and whether Vikoma skimmers and the Frogmat boom have been evaluated in these latitudes.
Mr. Eggar : There are no specific treaty obligations which require the United Kingdom to clean up oil spills in Antarctica and there are no resources deployed in Antarctica by the United Kingdom for that purpose. The equipment referred to in the question has not, so far as I am aware, been evaluated in Antarctica although boom and skimmer devices were used in connection with the oil spill from the Bahia Paraiso which sank on 31 January.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on steps he has taken to advise the Government of Iraq of Her Majesty's Government's attitude towards human rights violations in Iraq.
Mr. Waldegrave : We have repeatedly made clear to the Government of Iraq our concern at their failure to respect human rights in their country. On 9 March, we co-sponsored a draft resolution on human rights in Iraq in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and voted against Iraq's successful motion to take no action on that draft. Our representative at the Commission made clear our concerns in his statement.
We are concerned about human rights in China. Our general aim is to encourage the Chinese Government to continue their programme of economic, social and political reforms, in the belief that in the long run this will lead to the development of a stable and democratic society in China, which is essential for the respect of human rights.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many qualified veterinary practitioners completed their training in the United Kingdom in each year from 1985 to 1988 ; and how many veterinary practitioners, qualified abroad, were registered to practice in the United Kingdom in each year over that period.
|Number ---------------------- 1985-86 |379 1986-87 |366 1987-88 |384 1988-89 |314
The numbers of qualified veterinarians from abroad registering with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons entitling them to practise in the United Kingdom in each of these years was :
|Number ---------------------- 1985-86 |122 1986-87 |224 1987-88 |263 1988-89 |256
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what mandatory training veterinary practitioners undergo with respect to (a) the treatement of marine fish and (b) protection of the marine environment.
Mr. Donald Thompson : Undergraduate veterinary training courses include basic instruction on all animal species. Veterinary graduates may choose to specialise in any aspect of veterinary surgery including marine fish.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 2 March 1989] : Consolidation of statute law is the responsibility of the Law Commission. One present plans, it is expected that a Bill consolidating the law on capital allowances will be ready for introduction early in the 1989/90 Session of Parliament. The Law Commission envisage that further work on consolidation of tax law will follow.
Mr. Lilley : The national debt is conventionally defined as the nominal liabilities of the National Loans Fund. These consist mainly of short, medium and long-dated Government securities, national savings products and Treasury bills. As such, they take no account of the public sector's holdings of short-term assets (for example foreign exchange reserves held in the exchange equalisation account). At 31 March 1988 the national debt stood at £197.5 billion, of which market holdings were £177.9 billion.
Full details of the national debt are published annually in the consolidated fund and national loans fund accounts : supplementary statements, and placed in the Library.
However, net public sector debt is nowadays a more appropriate measure of public sector indebtedness than the traditional measure of "national debt" as it covers the whole of the public sector rather than just central Government and it also takes account of the public sector's short-term assets. At 31 March 1988 net public sector debt stood at £171.3 billion. Full details of the components of net public sector debt are published in the November 1988 Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin.
|£ billion ------------------------------ 1973-74 |177.5 1978-79 |178.3 1987-88 |197.3
However the national debt is conventionally defined as the liabilities of the national loans fund. As such it is not the most useful or comprehensive measure of the total state of public sector indebtedness. It comprises debt held by official bodies within central Government, it does not cover the whole of central Government debt and it excludes entirely the debt of other parts of the public sector. In addition, it takes no account of the public sector's short-term assets including foreign exchange reserves. A better measure is public sector net debt, though figures for this are only available from end 1974-75. In 1987-88 prices, the public sector net debt at the end of each year was as follows :
|£ billion ------------------------------ 1974-75 |218.9 1978-79 |180.3 1987-88 |171.3
Column 147state of public sector indebtedness. It includes debt held by official bodies within central Government, it does not cover the whole of central Government debt and it excludes entirely the debt of other parts of the public sector. In addition, it takes no account of the public sector's short-term assets. A better measure is public sector net debt, whose flow analogue is the PSBR-PSDR.
In 1987-88 prices the cumulative PSBR was as follows :
(a) 1974-75 to 1978-79 £118.9 billion (or £22.4 billion a year on average).
(b) 1979-80 to 1987-88 £88.4 billion (or £9.8 billion a year on average).
Mr. Beith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy concerning the provision to credit reference agencies of information concerning the non-payment of value added tax ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 13 March 1989] : I regret that statistics are not maintained on a district basis. The local VAT office at Ipswich covers not only the Waveney constituency but the area which includes Ipswich itself, Felixstowe, Newmarket and Bury St. Edmunds. The number of VAT registrations processed by that office for each of the calendar years 1979 to 1988 was :
Year |New registrations ------------------------------------------------------ 1979 |1,612 1980 |1,497 1981 |1,726 1982 |1,528 1983 |1,557 1984 |2,321 1985 |2,094 1986 |2,180 1987 |2,324 1988 |2,826
Column 148television advertising, (b) radio advertising, (c) newspaper advertising and (d) other promotional material ; and what is the 1989-90 budget for each of these categories of spending.
|£ million --------------------------------------------------- (a) TV advertising |49.5 (b) Radio advertising |1.5 (c) Newspaper advertising |35.0 (d) Other promotional material |23.5 |------- |109.5
Detailed decisions on estimated expenditure by media through COI on behalf of other Government Departments for 1989-90 is a matter for departmental Ministers.